Beer Haiku Friday and A Beer Tasting

This Haiku combines ribs and beer which is more than enough to get it selected for today’s Beer Haiku Friday. It is titled “To-do List“:

As ribs cook slowly
The only thing left for me
Is to drink this beer

A full report from the MAF Beer Tasting:

This week I had the opportunity to run a beer tasting at the head office of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. I brought a range of New Zealand craft beer and they provided gourmet pizzas and assorted chippies. It was a perfect match really. Filled with policy analysts, scientists and even someone who had studied brewing, it was a knowledgeable crowd with some great questions.

Glass Tip – The fine fellows at Beer Haiku Daily

Beerly Tasting – Lawyers and Belgians

Last Friday I ran an introductory beer tasting at DLA Phillips Fox:

As a warm up to the successful Wellington Ranfurly Shield defence against Otago, I had the chance to run a beer tasting for staff and clients of one of Wellington’s big law firms, DLA Phillips Fox. It was an introductory beer selection which was accompanied by an impressive amount of food including paua fritters, chicken wings and ribs. One corner of the table had a big pile of bones which made it look like the Flintstones had dropped in to try some brews.

The July tradition continues with the annual Belgian Beer Tasting at the Backbencher:

July 21 is Nationale Feestdag. This is, of course, the National Day of Belgium and it celebrates the 178th anniversary of the coronation of King Leopold I. I suspect everyone already knew that. He is not still there obviously but I suspect everyone knew that too. More than just a chance to toast the Belgian monarchy, it is an excuse to settle down and sample some of the very best beers from the land sometimes called “the paradise of beer.”

The Epic Journey Has Begun


Epic and the Malthouse have conspired to put Epic Armageddon in oak barrels on board the interisland ferry for six weeks. The barrels are named Pete (after Pete Brown whose Hops and Glory book inspired this lunacy) and Melissa (after Melissa Cole, a British Beer Writer). This news has reached Melissa and she blogs her response in a post titled “Does my bum look big in this barrel“:

[Luke and Colin] went back to New Zealand, we did the Facebook thing to stay in contact and I didn’t think much more about it – until a tagged photo of a barrel appeared with my name on it on Colin’s page, which I found a little odd/slightly insulting! So, a faux-indignant enquiry was made and I got back a very cryptic ‘you’ll have to wait and see’ response – worst thing ever to say to a nosey journalist.

Unfortunately, my attempts to get more information out of Luke yielded even less fruit, which was even more frustrating – particularly when Tweets started appearing saying things like ‘just filling Melissa’ [see action photo] which, I must say, came as a surprise to me!

Melissa’s blog, “Taking the beard out of beer” is well worth a read.

Beer Haiku Friday, Beer Battles and Beer Journeys

In the 1,001th post on this fine blog, Beer Haiku Friday continues its ratings dominance with “big foamy head

Just some good ole boys
Talking beer, blues, barbecue
And living the dream

The TAB is offering long odds on Neil “Haiku” Miller becoming a more popular nickname than Luke “The Imp” Nicholas.

Over at the Malthouse blog, the 30th post there looks at the West Coast Challenge, brewers talking like professional wrestlers and the Dux de Lux. It is titled “Whatcha gonna do, brother, when the hoppiest beers in the world run wild on you?”

Over a quiet pint of Epic one evening, the Handsome and Softly Spoken Scotsman had the crazy idea of recreating Pete Brown’s IPA voyage recreation right here in New Zealand. He asked the Impish brewer to procure some wooden barrels and fill them with Armageddon. The Impish brewer immediately agreed. He asked the Interislander ferry if the barrels could go on their ship for up to six weeks. The Interislander people immediately agreed.

Glass Tip – Beer Haiku Daily

Beer tastings, so many beer tastings…

On friday night I ran a beer tasting for the good people at Telecom and the report and results are now up on the site:

The hardest aspect of last Friday’s beer tasting was finding the right building. There are five identical units on the site and I spent several awkward minutes in the wrong one. After locating the correct Telecom office, I had the chance to talk thirty enthusiastic punters through a selection of Kiwi craft beers and an iconic Belgian strong ale. One of the staff even produced some great food matches for the beers with his culinary feat made all the impressive by the fact he had to Google a few of the beers to because he’d never heard of them.

The night before I had run my third tasting at Thomson Reuters and the results are also in:

It is always a good sign when a company starts calling their beer tastings “an annual event.” Last Thursday I visited Thomson Reuters to run their third annual tasting session. As always, their questions and comments kept me on my toes as we worked through a selection of New Zealand craft beers and the traditional big Belgian closer. At the end of the evening the popular vote was very close with one beer making the podium for the very first time.

The Thursday Pint – Tuatara’s New Drop and Ale Tasting

In big brewing news, Tuatara are launching their first new beer in several years at the Malthouse in Wellington tonight. The beer is Tuatara Helles and the details are in the latest Malthouse blog post aptly titled “Fancy a pint of the new Tuatara?“:

The two sweetest words in the English Language, according to Homer J Simpson, philosopher, role model and pneumatic cerevisaphile, are “de fault”. However, I tend to think that Pete Brown, beer writer, global pub crawler and all-round bearded bloke, has it right when he suggests that “fancy a pint” is about the most appealing invitation you can get which involves remaining fully dressed.

Last night the Cellar Vate beer tasting group sampled some of the best ales from around New Zealand (and Tui). The full report and results are up now:

The April session of the Cellar-Vate Beer Club was a search for New Zealand’s best ale. Forty people tasted ales new and old brewed in a mix of contemporary and classic styles. They also tried Tui, a self-proclaimed East India Pale Ale, to see how it stacked up against the real stuff.

Small brewer scores epic festival effort

When it comes to success in the art of beer making, brand recognition can mean everything, so the significance of winning a slot at a British ale festival dubbed “the world’s biggest” is not lost on Kiwi brewer Luke Nicholas.

Over the next fortnight, the Poms will be sipping their way through 100,000 pints of multi-award-winning Epic Pale Ale after the 38-year-old was invited to showcase his brew at the International Real Ale Festival.

Epic’s founder and head brewer has landed one of only six international taps at the annual event hosted by British pub giant JD Wetherspoon which he says could provide the company with the springboard it needs to maximise its potential.

“The Wetherspoon chain has 720 pubs and my batch will be selling in all of them overnight that’s more than twice the number of outlets I can get into here,” Mr Nicholas said.

“Of course, it’s not just about selling the beer. It’s about seeking publicity, pursuing potential avenues, exploiting brand recognition and putting Epic on the map something that’s not easy back home.”

Full Story

EPIC TALE

The Epic beer brand had pride of place on Campbell Live this week with an item extolling the virtues of the beer and its improved sales in the face of the economic downturn. “Packs a punch”, noted the Campbell Live reporter approvingly.

Separately, John Campbell promoted free tickets to the Munich Oktoberfest as a part of a competition for the New Zealand Beer Festival – whose other major sponsor is Liquorland.

The details for the competition listed TV3 owner MediaWorks as a promoter for the competition.

We wondered if the two matters were connected, but TV3 news and current affairs director Mark Jennings said they were not.

Executive producer Carol Hirschfeld says she was indeed told to put “promoter” on the website by TV3 legal counsel Clare Bradley.

“In essence I suppose we are promoting a competition to our viewers for a trip to the German beer festival but we are not promoting any beer brand or liquor company.

“I’m not sure what the issue is here … from what I understand, you think it is a problem that the competition followed a story on a boutique brewery? This was basically coincidental.”

We wondered if the advertising folk had any role in the line-up.

“The sales department have not had and never do have any input into these things.

“Organisers of the competition had rung us [with the idea for the Epic story] and Carol agreed. The competition was already running,” Jennings said.

TV3 marketing boss Roger Beaumont said Campbell had presented other competitions on air in the past.

Full Story

Beer on a Monday Morning – Cellar Vate Tasting and the Porter Story

Regular tastings have resumed at Cellar-Vate with the first of this year called “The Best of the Best for 2008

The first Cellar Vate beer tasting of 2009 was the always coveted “Best of the Best” session. Forty-five tasters gathered to sample eight beers which were voted first or second in each of the eight tastings I ran last year. Our aim was to select the Cellar Vate Beer Tasting Club Champion Beer and Champion Brewery of 2008.

Over at the Malthouse blog, the latest post talks about beer and storytelling, the best beer story in the world and Tuatara Porter. It is called “The Porter Story“:

Beer and storytelling have a long, interwoven history. The ancient Sumerians, sipping their beer through long straws, probably whiled away the hours with exaggerated stories of hunting prowess and how they totally could conquer Egypt but just didn’t have the time these days. That tradition has continued unabated.

Glass Tip – The Malthouse Blog and Pete Brown’s Blog

Beer Haiku Friday and More about Mayhem

This week’s Haiku is designed to encourage people to enter a Beer Haiku contest but it is actually a great little poem in its own right. It is called “Flying Dog Haiku Contest“:

Why do beer lovers
Gravitate to short poems?
There’s more time for beer.

Glass Tip – The always reliable chaps at Beer Haiku Daily

Blogging has resumed in earnest over at the Malthouse site with the latest offering called “On my command, unleash Mayhem“:

It is more balanced than last years’ offering when Luke declared that Mayhem would “wilfully maim and cripple the palates of the most extreme hop head” but, make no mistake, this is still a tremendously hoppy drop.

Glass Tip – Malthouse proprietor Colin the Handsome (self-proclaimed) and Softly-Spoken (media labelled) Scotsman